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Posts with tag off-tanking

Breakfast Topic: Do you prefer to be the off tank?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to our pages.

Most tanks (and aspiring tanks) want to be the main tank of a raid. It is upon this prestigious player's shoulders that the success or failure of the raid is often considered to rest.

Screw that.

First of all, we know that stereotype is untrue. Healers and DPS both play critical roles in raid success, even though they are sometimes forced to argue for their significance. But I don't often hear praise for the off tanks. While the healers heal, the DPS damages and the main tank tanks, these "wannabe main tanks" play critical roles in most every fight. Whether they have to pick up adds or share the burden of boss tanking with the main tank, these intrepid heroes have to work just as hard to keep the raid alive.

I first tasted off-tanking back in Naxxramas (10-man) when I stepped up to the task of being one of the rear tanks on my elemental shaman during the Four Horsemen fight. Here, I received my first taste of the special joy of adapting my skill set to new situations for every fight. I pined to be the one who would kite the zombies on Gluth, but my shaman lacked the capability, and one of our mages shouldered the responsibility. You can rest assured, however, that I was always back there to assist by laying down my Stoneclaw Totem.

My guild fell apart for a while after Ulduar was released, and I was too poor for more WoW. Once I wasn't poor anymore, I leveled a feral druid, and we all got back together just recently and started raiding Icecrown. Now I'm the off tank, and I'm loving it. Being an off tank lets me flex and show how creative and adaptable I am.

Do any of you tanking types out there prefer the off-tank role?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Officers' Quarters: Tanks for nothing

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

The Tank Shortage of 2008 -- is it worse than the Tank Shortage of 2007? Over the past two years, few guilds haven't felt the sting of being shorthanded on the front lines. Blizzard's response has been to give us the Death Knight, a class that supposedly will be able to tank with any talent tree. And while many of us are enjoying them on the beta servers, everyone in live is still struggling. As more and more players take a break from WoW prior to the expansion, it's a problem that's only getting worse.

In these desperate times, it seems like raiding guilds are taking anybody that can equip a shield or go bear. But even today, some tanks are so terrible that it's just not worth keeping them on the roster. One reader wants to know how to let a bad tank go.

Hi Scott,

I'm faced with a bit of a conundrum with regards to a warrior in our guild. I'll start from the beginning:

I'm an officer and the Warrior class leader in a small PvE guild on Burning Steppes EU, which has been trying to break into 25-man content before Lich King. As we needed tanks we've been accepting warriors with little experience and gear in order to train them up and get them ready for raid tanking. So far we've had good success, with a number of pre-Kara tanks, including myself, now at the level of MT'ing up to prince. (I downed Prince my first night of tanking him :D)

Now my problem comes in the form of a warrior who is on trial. He's not a bad tank, at least not in instances. But when it comes to Off-tanking in Kara, he's awful.

He's ignoring markings, failing to listen to tactics, and seems to be in a dream world all the time.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?

Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: When tanks aren't tanking

The Care and Feeding of Warriors comes to you again on the horns of a dilemma. Matthew Rossi has found himself playing his human warrior more often when he plays, and being sucked back into raiding again. This has led to him strapping on his DPS gear and dual wielding while still prot spec, and other anomalies he wants to talk to you about.

It's one of the ironies of my time playing warriors in World of Warcraft that I often find myself doing exactly the opposite thing I expected. Recently, due to time constraints and personal issues I haven't been able to play as much at night, and have found myself online at a whole different time of day. As a result I've tended to play Alliance again because there's more people online on my Ally server, and my poorly geared human protection spec warrior has found himself somehow raiding again. It began with a few heroics that impressed some people, a guild tryout I didn't really think much about that consisted of tanking Black Morass over and over again, and now I find myself in Kara, ZA and even Gruul's or Mags as a pure prot spec warrior.

I'm starting to remember it all again, how it feels to hold aggro against well geared DPS, the thrill of using your abilities to keep a mob stuck to you while properly keeping those crushing blows off of the table so that your healer whispers you after the fight and tells you he barely had to break a sweat keeping you up despite your horribly awful blues. Seriously, I'm still wearing a green ring here.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Holy Trinity?

Every week Matthew Rossi writes The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to the class everyone can aspire to except blood elves. Why can't blood elves be warriors? Because giving Taunt to blood elves would be redundant.

The common wisdom is that there are three roles in an instance. You have your DPS, who kill things. You have your healers, who keep things from killing you. And you have your tanks, who keep the things you intend to kill from killing you first. It's a concept so simple and widespread in WoW that most people refer to it as 'The Holy Trinity'. The only problem with this beautiful theory is, it's wrong.

When I first thought about it, the glaring omission was CC, or Crowd Control. You have CC to help the group by deciding which mobs you're going to try and kill first and prevent other mobs from trying to kill you while you do it. Eureka, I shouted from my bathtub (almost dropping my laptop), there are four lights! But the more I thought about it, I realized that I'd fallen into a subtle trap. There aren't four roles, there are still only three.

CC, DPS, and healing. And that's it.

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Filed under: Warrior, Instances, Features, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

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